Melissa’s Dry January® Story: “I am surprised to hear myself say it, but I prefer the version of me”

Melissa | December 2023 | 6 minutes

From feeling sharper at work, to noticing improvements in her sleep, Melissa was surprised at the benefits taking on Dry January® brought her way.

I really enjoyed the break during Dry January®. Whilst I didn’t have cravings as such, I definitely had a couple of ‘I wouldn’t mind a glass of wine’ moments in the first week, particularly on the first Friday when I was back at work after Christmas.

…the difference in my sleep, mood and general sharpness was amazing.

However, the difference in my sleep, mood and general sharpness was amazing and far outweighed the cons. I found it far easier to focus on work challenges and get them dealt with head on during Dry January®. Before, I’d often find myself procrastinating the next day, as I’d be feeling a bit fuzzy from my two glasses of wine with dinner the night before and the subsequent rubbish night’s sleep that caused. Towards the end of month I wasn’t thinking about having a drink at all; it was more a case of ‘this is what we're doing now’.

...that first taster in January did have me wondering what it would be like in the longer term.

Whilst I did have a few drinks in February, that first taster in January did have me wondering what it would be like in the longer term… I found the literature and blog posts from Alcohol Change UK really interesting and had read somewhere that the benefits only get better with time.

Taking part in Dry January® and seeing those initial benefits meant that when I heard about Sober Spring, I was more curious to try it. I can categorically say that had I heard about it before my Dry January® experience, I wouldn’t have entertained it, thinking ‘three months?! Not a chance…’ Instead, I reflected on what January had actually been like for me. I mean the weather was still freezing and dark but I was more switched on than I would otherwise have been and found myself signing up – and completing it.

That initial step in January definitely changed my perception of what a life free of alcohol might be like.

That initial step in January definitely changed my perception of what a life free of alcohol might be like. I would say, have a go, and see how it makes you feel. I was never a huge drinker. But how I felt after drinking, both physically and mentally, definitely got worse as I got older. And as I hit my late 30s, I started to feel that it simply wasn’t worth it anymore.

I am surprised to hear myself say it, but I prefer the version of me who’s happy to get out of bed at 7.30am on a Saturday, walk the dogs with a smile on my face, then hit a 9.30am spin class. I didn’t realise she existed!

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